If you happen to be pregnant or are sensitive to solemn topics about birth and death please do not continue reading. We do not want to place any anxious thoughts or images in your mind as we share openly about the grief of miscarriage.
I had just turned 20 years old and was married for about two months when we miscarried our honeymoon baby. My husband grieved the loss of our first child immediately while I sat numb rationalizing that we were one of many couples that had lost a baby in miscarriage. What made us special that we should we be different from anyone else?
I didn’t cry about the baby for months. I hardened my heart to keep away the pain. In doing so, I also hardened my heart to my husband. I would not allow myself to open up and be vulnerable. Frank and I were married in college and agreed that we would not have gotten married if we weren’t ready for children. I have always loved children and was excited to start a family. I kept myself distracted with a busy semester and fooled myself into believing that I was at peace with what happened. The miscarriage was easy to hide. We had not told any family we were expecting because we wanted to wait until after the first trimester. We lived about six hours away from both our families and no one could take note of any physical changes. Since no one knew we were pregnant we did not have to tell them that we miscarried either. I regret that because if I would have told others that we miscarried I would have been forced to talk about the loss and our family would have been able to support us in prayer.
It wasn't until six months after our miscarriage that my grief came unexpectedly. During a regular voice lesson my professor asked if we should schedule my senior vocal recital on a specific date. The date she suggested just happened to be our baby's original due date. I could not hold back any longer and stood there crying. I finally allowed the pain that was silenced for months to come forward.
My husband and I, who have been best friends now for twelve years, felt incomplete for the first time. We accepted that a part of us would be forever missing on this side of heaven but trusted that ultimately our child was even more God's child and safe at home.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised. Job 1:21
Through our miscarriage, I have learned that a Christian can experience grief and the glory of God at the same time.
I was blessed to see the intricate parts of our nine week old baby at home and ponder the formation of our child while holding it in hand. Even though our baby was dead, the sight of him or her reminded me of God’s craftsmanship and love.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Jeremiah 1:5
Knowing the “why” can help when grieving. Sin is the reason we have grief and death.
God's creation has been disrupted ever since Adam and Eve first sinned. Creation waits to be made one with God again just as we wait to be reunited with God and our child.
We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Romans 8:22
We have been cursed by the fall into sin too and our death is a result of sin.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life inChrist Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Now that I have grown more comfortable in talking about miscarriage I am always ready to give an answer for the hope that I have. The brief life of our child has brought glory to God and continues to do so as we bring comfort to those who have experienced similar hard times.
Do you remember how Jesus grieved with Mary and Martha when their brother Lazurus died? Jesus wept even though he knew that he was going to bring Lazurus back to life. He mourned with others even though he had full assurance of resurrection.
Selections from John 11,
Now a man named Lazarus was sick... So the sisters sent word to Jesus, “Lord, the one you love is sick.”
When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”...
...When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” he asked.
“Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”
But some of them said, “Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. “Take away the stone,” he said.
“But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”
Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”
So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
There are barriers that can cause us to miss the glory of God. Barriers such as unresolved anger, resentment, bitterness, fear, insecurity, blame, guilt, comparison of a spouse’s grief to your own, discontentment, and lack of spiritual support. Unfortunately, the dad can be over looked during the pain of miscarriage and may not receive much support. I hope in the next few weeks during our Grief to Glory series that some men may find comfort here and share their voice with others.
In our weakness Christ is made strong in us.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Grieving is not only natural but necessary! I tried suppressing my grief and it turned my heart to bitterness, resentment, and fear. Once I talked about it and opened my heart and body for the chance of life to be carried within myself again - I could honor my child's memory without bitterness and could replace it with the hope that Christ won for us - eternal life - each day is a gift of grace from our Lord.
We felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 2 Corinthians 1:9
During the next few weeks I will be sharing other personal stories of couples who have experienced the grief of losing their baby and the glory that comes only from Christ. Please know that I understand the solemness of the content I am writing about. It is my intention to have an open and honest telling of a Christian couple's response to grief including the times of darkness, hope, and faith.
If you have miscarried a baby you may find comfort by reading Grief to Glory: Part Two // Carried Through Miscarriage.
If you have loss the life of a baby the story of baby Simeon’s life is shared in Grief to Glory: Part Three // Lifted through Baby Loss.
Also, baby Grace's life is shared in Grief to Glory: Part Four // Breathtaking Grace.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:3-5